by Mary Beth Keane
This well-researched novel chronicles the life of the unfortunately nicknames "Typhoid Mary", a woman who appears to be in perfect health, but is accused of being an asymptomatic carrier of the deadly Typhoid virus.
As medical science plows through uncharted waters in the early 1900s, Mary finds herself in her own uncharted waters - forced to live for years in quarantine on a little island, surrounded by a bunch of tuberculosis patients and nurses wanting to get samples from her every other day.
Mary's decisions as she struggles to come to terms with the abrupt changes in her life, and her undulating relationship with Alfred, her live-in boyfriend of many years, are spellbinding. I kept thinking, "I can't believe this could really happen to someone!"
I really wanted to rate this book PG because it is pretty mild, but there are a couple of paragraphs that allude to physical intimacy, and I promised no sexuality in my PG ratings, so there you go :) Also, there are a handful of swear words: about 10 occurrences, mostly one certain word used to describe the ever present filth in the streets of the tenements.
This would be a great book club read.